Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Alice in Wonderland are sweet demure young girls with perfectly coiffed tresses, wearing modest dresses of the period overcome obstacles and evil villains. The stories themselves are charming and romantic, while filled with happy ever afters and intriguing harmless adventure. Beyond the Looking Glass, a series of four short stories, squashes that wholesome image. Under the guise of these cute fairy tales, lies a dark gloomy horror entwined by mythical legends that spark fear, but for many ignites exotic fantasies. Come…come… experience the bizarre erotic fancies of AP Miller.
When Evil Rises opens this macabre anthology as werewolf woodsman, Lord Hayden thwarts Gnome and Vampire King, Gunnard Halvard from marrying Snow White; turning her into a exceedingly blood thirsty vampire/werewolf. After overthrowing the Queen, Snow’s evil stepmother, anarchy governs the kingdom. The goblins, counterpart to those adorable seven dwarves, join the new monarchy’s debauchery as Greedy, Gluttony, Lusty, Angry, Sloth, and Pride chased wayward maidens towards the castle, for the Queen and King’s monstrous use. As terror quickly engulfs the land, the honorable King Halvard plans his attack, hoping to save his wayward bride from a life of immoral decadence.
Now, let’s move on to the story of Rhed Riding Wolf that foretells of a young woman’s lusty fate with wild woodland beasts. Raised as a “lady” to care for home and husband, Rhed resents this dutiful class distinction, believing intelligence is a talent everyone should possess and appreciate. Spending most of her time with Grandmother Rhiamon the village witch, Rhed learns the art of healing and magic. Skills relied on by many of the villagers, which she continues long after her grandmother’s death. Unhappy with her loneliness and growing sexual hunger, Rhed performs a Summoning Ritual drawing the attention of a shape shifter, Duke Wolfe McCabe.
Black leather and cat ‘o nine tails gives Charming in Chains its dominating aura, revealing a decidedly unrivaled tale about Prince Charming and his fleeing Princess. For five centuries, he waited for her reincarnation. Now, owner of the nightclub she frequents, also the aspirant vampires’ High Mistress, she commands reverence equal only to his own. Brietta cannot ignore the innate familiarity between them when in his company. He somehow completes her. Caleb wants her badly enough to initiate a seduction into his world of eternal life.
In the book’s title story Beyond the Looking Glass a rising ad director Alice, though a naďve introvert, readily accepts the promotion handed to her. One of the company’s most venerated clients, the McNabb account now solely belongs to her. Charles McNabb (the Cheshire cat) owns a popular nightclub that caters to a wealthy clientele, attired entirely in leather or shiny black latex. Guarding the establishment’s front door and controlling the crowd stands a large man resembling a Door Mouse. Behind the bar works the Mad Hatter, as the Queen approaches looking remarkably like Alice’s boss, Ms. Oakley. In fact, it is, with Alice’s best friend Eliza worshiping at her feet. Watching Eliza submitting to Ms. Oakley arouses Alice, awakening a longing for similar dominance, though by a man not a woman.
Clearly a horror filled fantasy novel, an observation noticeable just from its cover Beyond the Looking Glass is highly entertaining, wickedly thrilling and skillfully chilling. Reader’s will enjoy the rousing lascivious twists on their favorite fairy tales, although searching for obvious disparities between the “age appropriate” versions. AP Miller maintains just enough of the known cast’s characterization and story line, so creating an illusion of expected normalcy, only to quickly turn them feral, sinister and oh so erotic. At first, it’s shocking but deliciously fun soon afterwards exposing the earthy carnal appetites of weres and vamps, then showcasing the seductive allure of leather and dominance. An anthology that cannot be pushed aside by any horror enthusiasts who enjoys eroticism with their tales of terror.
AP Miller is the pen name for writing team Patti Rebmann and Andrew Miller, both widely published authors in various newspaper, magazine and of course, novels.
A Dedicated Reader, Pamela Jenewein
Review for Beyond the looking Glass by Tammie Nightowl Romance www.nightowlromance,com 4 Hearts Eternal Press Publications
If you always thought those fairytales were too tame or were missing something this is the book for you. Beyond the Looking Glass is compilation of four short stories and each is a new look at an old fairytale you will probably remember from your childhood. What you get in Beyond the Looking Glass is a full scrumptious feast and a whole lot of twists. You will never think of those fairytales the same.
The first story is When Evil Rises. This is a retelling of Snow White. The evil queen is now dead, but is that really what's good for the kingdom and it's people? Snow White is not the cute darling that you remember, but a vampire and her lover a werewolf. After killing the queen the people of the kingdom start becoming her snacks. Something must be done to stop the reign of Snow Whites terror.
In Rhed Riding Wolf we have Rhed and her grandma dies. Rhed is left a very special book. Her grandma was not just any old grandma, but was also a witch. Ten years in the past Rhed saw something in the forest and she soon finds the beasts description in the book. The beast makes Rhed hot and bothered. Soon she has a visitor who makes her very happy and a wolfy all her own. This story was my favorite out of the four shorts.
Next up was Charming in Chains. When Brietta looses her glass slipper, as she flees the prince's castle, she never expects to see the slipper or the prince again. Many centuries later Brietta is working in a BDSM club and low and behold her prince has found her. I guess it's better late than never. True love beaches time with the help of the vampire curse.
Last up was Alice in Wonderland. When Alice was a young girl she loved her daddy, while her mom was a real nasty woman. When her daddy dies she becomes even more closed off from the world and very reserved. When Alice grows up she can hardly function when it comes to relationships. With the help of her boss and friends Alice is introduced to an erotic club that many at the office staff frequent. Soon Alice is in her element and a submissive to her master. Just watch as Alice comes out to play.
Overall this series was a real delightful and fun read that had me always wondering what next A.P. Miller would come up with. From wolves to vampires and BDSM and glass slippers this book was a real winner. So, if you liker variety and lots of twists on old tales pick this one up for a fun night of decadent pleasures.